Tag Archives: #Connecticut

Anticipating Changes

On our recent visit to Windsor Locks, Connecticut, I made a series of photographs of an Amtrak Sunday-only Springfield to Washington DC train making its station stop.

In the relatively near future this entire scene is expected to change. Amtrak’s P42 diesels are reaching the end of their useful lives, and Amtrak’s Amfleet replacement cars are on order. Plans have also been made to build a new and improved station for Windsor Locks about a mile north of the present station.

The present Windsor Locks station is pretty basic. It lacks amenities, features just a short platform, and is scenically bereft. Yet, I’ve made many photos here over the last forty years.

Documenting change is more than just making pretty pictures.

These views were exposed digitially using my Nikon Z digital cameras.

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Out of the Mist at Windsor Locks.

Amtrak 494 was running a bit behind the advertised when we arrived the ‘station’ in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

I had time to set up my tripod, make an assessment of the lighting conditions, and frame up my photo before the train came into view.

The two car shuttle from New Haven made a very brief stop. I exposed this sequence using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens set at ISO 8000.

After just a moment the train was on its way toward Springfield, Massachusetts.

ISO8000, f4 1/125 second.
ISO8000, f4 1/200th second.

More than 38 years ago, I made a black & white photo of an Amtrak painted Budd-SPV2000 stopping here. See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/spv2000-at-windsor-locks-may-1985/

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AEM-7 at Niantic

I’ve been digging through slides from 2010 as part of my epic task to sort, label and file my photographs.

The other night I came across a roll exposed 13 years ago on a trip to the old New Haven Railroad Shore Line Route that I made with photographers Tim Doherty and Pat Yough.

We finished the day’s photography at Niantic Beach on the Connecticut coast where I made this view of a westward Amtrak regional train led by AEM-7 919. I like it because it is an unusual trailing photo rather than a more common head-on angle.

I’ve been searching my slides for a view of AEM-7 915, the representative electric now displayed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. When I find a suitable image of this now famous preserved electric, I’ll post it on Tracking the Light.

Fujichrome Provia 100F exposed with a Canon EOS-3 at Niantic, Connecticut in February 2010.

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Vintage Chromes: Amtrak at Meriden, CT.

I made photographs of Amtrak at Meriden, Connecticut on two occasions.

The first was in February 1979. My father brought my brother and me out for the afternoon and we stopped at Meriden’s Amtrak station to watch the arrival of a New Haven-Springfield shuttle operating with a pair of Budd RDC’s. I exposed these coming and going Kodachrome photos with my old Leica 3A. (previously featured on Tracking the Light in 2015. See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2015/05/14/amtrak-rdcs-at-meriden-connecticut-february-1979/)

My second visit was on January 2, 1988, when I stopped at a grade crossing just north of the station to catch a southward holiday extra that was running with F40PH 205 and borrowed MARC passenger cars.

Last night, I was able to place the location 1988 photo by carefully scrutinizing the older slides. The distinctive profiles of the buildings to the left of F40PH 205 also appear in the distance of the trailing view of the RDCs, which is how I know that the 1988 photo shows the train approaching Amtrak’s Meriden station stop.

If you look carefully at the 1988 photo, you can see the conductor standing in a vestibule door. The platforms were at the east side of the tracks for trains in both directions, as evident in the first view of the RDC at the station.

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Fairfield, Connecticut 1986

This morning I was sifting through a file on a hard-drive titled ‘Misc 120 B&W negatives’.

This contains a group of 120-size negatives that I exposed with my father’s old Rollei Model T in late 1986 and early 1987.

Unfortunately these were unlabeled because at the time, because I’d fouled up the processing and deemed the negatives ‘unprintable’.

There were multiple failures on my part during development;

1) I was using stainless steel tanks, which had the unfortunate characteristic of leading to an edge effect when the room temperature was substantially different than the developer temperature. In this case, the darkroom at college was too warm, and so the short-edges received more processing than the center of the image area.

2) I had my developer mix wrong and too cool, so the overall result was under processed leading to these negatives appearing very thin (light).

3) The combination of ineffective agitation and relatively cool developer combined with the warm tank sides resulted in streaking and low contrast.

Because I was dissatisfied with my results and at the time I felt the subject matter was ‘common’, I simply put the negatives away. (But I didn’t throw them away.)

While I have detailed notes from the trip, those notes are stored in Massachusetts. I am in New Hampshire.

If I recall correctly, this was late December 1986 (Dec 28?) and I was traveling with Norman Yellin and John Peters: we had photographed at Conrail’s Cedar Hill Yard, Amtrak’s engine facility in New Haven, before proceeding west along the North East Corridor. Late in the day, we paused at Fairfield, where I made these images along with some 35mm color slides.

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